Although eurotuner is based in good ol’ America, one of the things we like best about our job is covering the entire European car tuning spectrum. While it’s true that as Euro auto enthusiasts we likely have more in common than not with enthusiasts from all over the globe, there’s no escaping the fact that some big difference definitely exist.
Belgium’s Davy Van Der Stichlen’s 2011 VW Scirocco is a perfect illustration of some pretty major differences between the European and North American enthusiast scenes. The most obvious difference here – that he owns a sweet VW we don’t even get! – isn’t what we’re talking about. No, it’s Davy’s approach to modding that results in a Mk3 Scirocco that looks quite different than it might if it had been owned by someone here. If we could even buy a Mk3 Scirocco in the first place. Which we can’t. And that sucks.
This Scirocco is actually Davy’s first project. He bought it because, in his words, “I wanted a very sporty car, but one that was still affordable.” Toward the affordable part of the equation, he chose the 2.0 TDI for motivation. “I’ve chip-tuned the engine,” Davy explains, “so it now makes great power but still gets good economy when I drive carefully.”
As Americans we may not completely understand the idea behind combining VW’s sportiest offering with a diesel powertrain, but here we again refer you back to our earlier assertion that enthusiasts from different countries often have different priorities. Davy drives his car every day and for him the cost of fuel is a genuine concern. Along with restrictive tuning prohibitions in Belgium (“crazy power upgrades are against the law”) and it becomes clear why this Scirocco was built this way.
Because of the engine restrictions, the Belgian scene is about looking good. So exterior mods are the equivalent of our “big-turbo” conversions on a full-scale Belgian project. It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that body kits are still very popular there.
Davy explained further: “I don’t consider a car with wheels and air-ride to be modified. To really stand out you need to look different.”
With a full re-spray in a custom red concocted by JEM Design, a Rieger replacement bumper and side skirts, along with a custom JEM Design rear bumper (with four large Skytune exhaust tips protruding from the diffuser), even a casual observer would immediately know this Scirocco is modified. Heavily.
If any questions remain, seeing Davy pop his Lambo-style scissor doors would remove all doubt. Yes, the Lambo doors might have had their time in the US, but it seems to be a different story overseas…
Another area where Davy went a bit crazier than most of us might was in the wheel department. Besides newer Passats, 20” wheels are typically reserved for Audis, BMWs, etc, being pretty rarely in the VW scene. However, the Scirocco had plenty of room for dubs and was able to accommodate 20x9.5 and 20x10” Web rims from J-Z Wheels. They’re wearing 225/30 and 265/25 rubber inside unmolested arches.
One area where we’re all in full agreement is the use of air-ride. Davy’s used a full GAS air system from T&S Tuning & Suspension that included four bags, shocks, compressor, air tank and management. “I drive the car 20,000km a year,” he explained, “and I have to be low. Without air-ride, there’s no way I can do both. Being able to put the car all the way to the ground is very important to me.”
With the body kit helping the car look even lower, there’s no arguing the combo of air suspension and the huge wheels tucking under the sleek Scirocco body make a visually stunning experience.
Speaking of visual impact, the trunk does not disappoint either. Consisting of various MAC Audio components, speakers and custom painted enclosure, the effect is again dramatic. These theme carry into the interior, with custom door cards and painted OE dash trim.
Drop this Scirocco into any Euro car show in the US and you’ll see a large group of fans as well as some eyebrow gymnastics. It’s a big, wide world and we don’t mind saying that at times, the North American scene can seem a little stale. Davy’s car is different because it comes from a different place. Variety is the spice of life, and we wouldn’t it any other way.
2011 VW Scirocco TDI
Owner: Davy van der Stichlen
Location: Lierde, Belgium
Occupation: commercial painter
2.0L four-cylinder TDI with Auto Tune Heinz software, Skytune exhaust, Sparco air filter
GAS air bags, shocks, compressor, air tank and management
Wheels & Tires:
20x9.5 f, 20x10 r J-Z Wheels Web wheel, 225/30 R20 f, 265/25 R20 r Hankook S1 Evo tires
Rieger front bumper and side skirts, JEM Design rear bumper and diffuser, LSD scissor doors, Autostyle LED headlights and tail lights, shaved badges and rear wiper, re-spray in custom red
dash trim painted, custom door cards and speaker enclosures, LED lighting in headliner
OE VW head unit with Mac Audio Star 2.16 two-way speakers in door cards, Star 2.13 speakers in trunk, two STX Reference subs in trunk, Fearless 1000D and 2100D amps in custom trunk enclosure
Thanks: jemdesign.be, Eric van Hamme, T&S Tuning & Suspension (t-s.be), autotuneheinz.be